MORE than 7,000kg of hashish with a street value of $3.5 million was confiscated from the Indian Ocean by a French naval vessel operating in the region.
A total of 3,900kg of hashish were discovered on a fishing dhow spotted behaving in a suspicious manner on Sunday, prompting French frigate FS Floreal to conduct a boarding.
A few hours later, the vessel’s helicopter detected another fishing dhow behaving suspiciously and once again the crew conducted a flag verification boarding and let loose Max, the ship’s sniffer dog who uncovered another 3,500kg of hashish.
This was the most significant seizure of illicit drugs in the Indian Ocean since the Royal Saudi Naval Force took over command of the Combined Task Force (CTF)150 in August, which operates under the Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).
“This series of hits on the illegal trafficking of narcotics is a great achievement for the Floreal crew,” said FS Floreal commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Carrard.
CTF150 has seized and destroyed more than 1,500kg of heroin and over 40,000kg of hashish in the last 12 months.
Profits from the sale of narcotics is a known source of funding for terrorist activities in the region.